This is one of the worries that can get in the way of you going for what you really want. I hear about this worry a lot from creative women and transformational professionals: a fear of being seen as too “woo-woo.” Familiar?
[You can listen to or read this post (about 5 min.)]
On the one hand, you might want to talk about things like spirituality or the power of setting intentions, or a powerful energy healing experience, but you don’t want to be dismissed. I get that. First hand.
When I first thought about becoming a coach, I was worried about it seeming too airy, and I even got some negative feedback about the idea of coaching from a couple people.
I’ve found myself trying to walk that line in my work. I’m starting to not care, and I notice a lot of others are not as worried anymore either. I’m so glad.
And yet… that “woo woo” police still lives on in many minds. Negative comments about it are so common. Here’s what I think about that: we aren’t noticing the flaws in that wording or thinking.
This “woo woo” idea has so many layers and I want to break it apart. What is that fear actually about?
Does “Woo Woo” Mean Ungrounded?
I think that underneath that “woo woo” fear is a fear of being seen as not grounded, or too “airy.” And underneath that is a societal assumption that ungrounded refers to not being grounded in traditional Western science.
Somehow “woo woo” got equated with “obviously bad,” but really it comes from a dominant (unhealthy) culture trying to squash out other ways of knowing, especially what are often called “women’s ways of knowing,” like intuition or natural healing methods.
Hmm, might this be another form of sexism that we need to rethink? Or at least a form of dismissing other important and valid ways of knowing? Yes!
Are you starting to see one of the problems with this fear of being seen as “woo woo”? It’s an inner skeptic, fueled by an unhealthy dominant culture, trying to stop us from speaking up about what we believe, or what we’re here to do, and to trust in what we have experienced in reality.
Turns out, and I bet you know this, there’s a lot of good valid stuff outside of traditional Western/dominant culture science: acupuncture, herbal remedies, prayer, intuition, positive thinking, the healing power of connecting to nature…. things many of us trust in every day.
All the ones I listed, by the way, are grounded in rigorous studies that show how effective they are.
Fear of Being Dismissed as Useless or Frivolous
Even with all that aside, this fear of being seen as “woo woo” also comes down to a fear of being dismissed as useless. Ack!
Now that’s a valid fear indeed. No one wants to be dismissed.
Nor should anyone be dismissed, in my opinion.
So Now What?
I propose we rethink what we mean by “too woo woo” or when we catch ourselves thinking or saying “I’m not woo woo!” defensively.
Let’s consider saying what we really mean. Then, I propose we show more of what we really believe and what really works for us. That would be grounded in reality, for real.
If you believe in intuition, talk about it. If you have a healing method you believe in, consider sharing that.
If you have talents for healing that are hard to explain, you can learn to trust in it as you honestly observe what happens. Your true people will recognize truth. Even if the words are messy, at first.
No need to worry about what the dominant culture will think. Let that old paradigm messaging shrink while you let truth grow and expand.
What do you think?